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Dresden police chief steps down over phone sweep scandal

The Local · 27 Jun 2011, 14:57

Published: 27 Jun 2011 14:57 GMT+02:00

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Dieter Hanitsch and other police officials had defended the gathering of data on February 19 as necessary for the maintenance of law and order. But some politicians and privacy advocates complained that citizens’ right to privacy had been violated and debated the legality of the operation.

Anti-fascist groups launched the protests – which included staging sit-ins and blocking roads – in order to disrupt planned neo-Nazi marches through Dresden.

But violence broke out after some of the protesters tried to get past police and into the area where neo-Nazis were preparing to march. About 112 police officers and an unknown number of protesters were injured in the clashes.

Officials later admitted that they had set up facilities on the edge of the protests to capture mobile phone data that could later be used to target law breakers. But data from the phones of journalists, peaceful protesters and bystanders was also swept up.

State legislative authorities have since been investigating what happened and whether it was legal.

Story continues below…

Hanitsch is being given a new position at state of Saxony’s police headquarters. The official reason for his removal as Dresden chief was "deficits of information."

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:22 June 28, 2011 by The-ex-pat
So can a Tech minded member tell me what exactly can be obtained by a "data sweep" or do they just mean that phone calls where recorded???
13:14 June 28, 2011 by trash head
> So can a Tech minded member tell me what exactly can be obtained by a "data sweep"

This contained in this case:

- all connection data (who call when with who)

- Position Data

They used this case to find out later who bought gasoline at a specific time in a shop with the help of the bill records of the shop (OBI)

so when you bought there in OBI fuel, they compare your mobile phone number with the mobil phone numbers of the persons who were in the area where the molotov attack happend.

To track and store and connect this kind of data is ueberdimensioned and shouldnt happen in a modern information society.
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